February 11, 2007

MVF orders probe of alleged dog attack victims in carnival area

Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas has ordered city health officer Dr. Renato Mateo and city veterinarian Dr. Arthur Cabello to conduct an investigation on the alleged dog attack victims at the carnival area under the Gilbert Bridge on February 3.

Fariñas’ order is in consideration of the fact that the area where the alleged incident happened is one the focal points of the fiesta celebration where huge number of people gather.

In line with this, the mayor also advised the City Veterinary Office to inspect the area to ascertain the presence of wild dogs.

The city government has earlier passed an ordinance strictly prohibiting dogs in public areas with dog owners facing penalties of P300, P600 and P1,000 for the first, second and third offenses respectively.

Meanwhile, Mateo announced that two victims have already visited his office on February 6 to inquire whether they need to continue their medication. Mateo advised them to continue it since it is free of charge and given by the animal bite center at the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital (GRBASMH).

Mateo added that the City Health Office is also willing to continue the medication but they do not have the same brand of vaccine given earlier to the victims.

The Ilocos Times learned that the two victims that visited the CHO are from Badoc, Ilocos Norte.

Mateo however stated that he does not know of any other victim of dog attacks in the carnival area. Earlier reports placed the number of victims at five.

Cabello, for his part, vowed to conduct his own investigation on the matter as he stressed that his office is strictly implementing the dog ordinance with the assistance of the CHO and the city police.

Dominic B. dela Cruz

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